Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer
1/13/2021

Good Morning!

The 96th South Dakota Legislative Session officially kicked off yesterday at noon followed by Governor Kristi Noem’s State of the State Address. The Governor gave a review of the past year under her administration and her plan for the future, in addition to discussing the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you missed the Governor’s address you can find it here.

The Senate Legislative Procedures committee has already met this morning, passing new rules S2-6 and S4-4 requiring masks on Senate floor, lobby, gallery, and adjacent areas. The House Legislative Procedures Committee will also be meeting today, however, they do not appear to be considering a similar mask mandate for the House at this point.

Both department and legislator sponsored bills continue to roll into the online database. As of this morning, 49 bills have been introduced in the House and 73 in the Senate. You can find a full list here. We continue to monitor these bills and prioritize issues that ensure South Dakotans continue to have access to not-for-profit, cooperative financial choices that support our unique mission and philosophy of placing people over profits.

One specific House bill of importance to credit unions and many other businesses that regularly serve consumers in a face-to-face setting is HB 1046, which limits liability for certain exposures to COVID-19. The bill states:

A person may not bring or maintain any action or claim for damages or relief alleging exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 unless the exposure results in a COVID-19 diagnosis and the exposure is the result of intentional exposure with the intent to transmit COVID-19. In alleging intentional exposure with the intent to transmit COVID-19, a party shall state with particularity the circumstances constituting intentional exposure with the intent to transmit COVID-19 including all duty, breach, and intent elements and establish all elements by clear and convincing evidence.

A committee date has not been set at this point. We will continue to monitor the developments of this bill along with any others important to the credit union industry.

CFPB Taskforce Recommends Credit Union Expansion.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law recently released a report containing over 100 recommendations in 19 areas of consumer financial protection law. Included was a recommendation to expand credit unions’ ability to serve under-served areas. It reads, “The Taskforce is unable to discern a logical reason for excluding certain credit unions from serving underserved areas simply because of the terms of their common bonds.” It is important to note that these recommendations come from the taskforce and are not directly endorsed by the CFPB.

CFPB Accepting Advisory Committee Applications.

The CFPB is again accepting Advisory Committee Application with a deadline of February 24th. The announcement was made earlier this week and includes membership to all four of its advisory committees. Jeremiah Kossen, CEO of Town & Country CU in North Dakota, is a current Advisory Committee Member. Applicants will need to register for an account and then submit the required information. Details, and the link to ACAM, are available here.

Below is some information on the application process for 2022 membership. There are 18 vacancies.

  • Advisory committee members serve two-year terms, on a staggered cadence.
  • This year, the CFPB will use a new application tool called ACAM (Advisory Committee Application Manager).
  • The process remains the same in terms of a complete application package: Resume/CV Cover letter; Questionnaire; and Letter(s) of recommendation.

Questions about the application process can be sent to CFPB_BoardandCouncilApps@cfpb.gov.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

 

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